Fighting Words on White Rap:
November 29, 2001 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Fighting Words on White Rap: but not what you'd expect, especially from the Village Voice:

Our children—are in crisis, trapped in the grip of a culture that glorifies drug use and debauchery, slovenly dress, and lack of respect for authority. A culture whose worship of antisocial behavior and debasement is rivaled only by its amoral concessions to the dictates of mammon.

This can largely be attributed to the unfortunate dominance of black popular culture, and—more specifically—hip-hop. In the past, mainstream culture refined raw black cultural materials, resulting in musical zeniths such as the recent neo-swing movement, which briefly presented a viable outlet for young dancers unwilling to subject themselves to the degrading influence of rap and rave music. This has got to be a put-on . . .
posted by ryanshepard (87 comments total)

 
Second paragraph should obviously be italicized there - sorry.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:33 PM on November 29, 2001


Something that makes sense, in the Village Voice? Naa, it's gotta be a put-on, you're probably right.
posted by dagny at 12:47 PM on November 29, 2001


It certainly looked like a put-on to me: but a very complex and sly one, with an apparently serious point to make -- although I'm not entirely sure I grasp it. In his last paragraph, he writes:

The argument about lower-class struggle, meanwhile, is only half true. White Americans do, in fact, swell the welfare rolls, indulge in and deal drugs in inordinate per capita quantities, and slaughter one another under alarmingly flimsy pretexts (being made fun of in high school, for example). But the white man's true burden is not to elevate others, but to elevate himself—to lead not through empathy, but through example.

This looks like a pointed inversion of the insistence by media that black artists should be "role models" to the community, and only represent approved values, rather than, say, reflect their reality.

Maybe. Just guessing here. Anyway, I found it really interesting.
posted by BT at 12:49 PM on November 29, 2001


You're right, it really really has to be a put-on, although I don't get it.

"N. Bedford Couch" occurs nowhere else I can find on the voice site or the internet.

Odd.
posted by malphigian at 12:49 PM on November 29, 2001


This article proves that the "cultural left" is equally as bigoted and snobbish as the "cultural right." They just have different groups of people that they reflexively hate, to wit:southerners, poor whites, Christians, libertarians, meateaters, heavy metal fans, the list goes on.
Now while the influence of hip-hop on white kids has led to some "pretty fly for a white guy" type moments, the best of it-Eminem, Kid Rock, House of Pain, and rap-influenced rock bands like RHCP and the Beastie Boys, are cool precisely because they absorb black influences while still being themselves. Which is pretty much the story of good rock and roll in general..am I right?
As for this nitwits comments "the neo-swing movement?" With a few small exceptions that amounted to a Gap commercial. This sounds like someones grandma saying, "Quit playing that evil noise and listen too this great old stuff." Jeez louise, call me when the world becomes sane again.
posted by jonmc at 12:49 PM on November 29, 2001


Bravo, Village Voice.

I despise hip-hop "culture" and it's (I use the term loosely) music. I despise it because of the influence it had on people I used to be friends with. I despise it because of the influence it has on people currently around me. I see it every day at an institution that I wish I wasn't a part of and I despise it. I despise it because of the image it has created for all the good, honest, hard working black people out there. One of the reasons I love my friends is because they were all smart enough not to buy into that junk back in high school.

We need more MC Hammers and less Eminems.
posted by tomorama at 12:50 PM on November 29, 2001


The music industry has it's high points and it's low points. I have faith that in the near future, the industry will heal itself and crawl out of the hole it's currently lying at the bottom of. Hey, we recovered from disco, didn't we? (:P kidding...)
posted by tomorama at 12:53 PM on November 29, 2001


I doubt that this guy has ever actually been to a neo-swing show. If he seriously thinks that they're somehow less deviant than a hip-hop concert, he needs to visit the Cafe Du Nord sometime to catch Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers.

I vote for put-on.
posted by MrBaliHai at 12:55 PM on November 29, 2001


People responding to this piece as if it were serious, I swear there is NO WAY IT IS.

Take this line:
Apologists for this sort of swill will likely cite the historical proximity of Southern whites and poor blacks, and assert that that interaction has produced some of our finest music, from country to rock and roll... Country is at its best when it disguises, ignores, or disassociates itself from contemporary black cultural influences, as it often did during its great pop rebirth in the early '90s.

Only a complete moron would say the best country occured in the early 90's. There is nothing lower than glam country.
posted by malphigian at 12:57 PM on November 29, 2001


hip hop != hip pop.
posted by atom128 at 1:00 PM on November 29, 2001


Help Save the Youth of America--DON´T BUY NEGRO RECORDS.

The screaming idiotic words, and savage music of these records are undermining the morals of our white youth in America. Call the advertisers of the radio stations that play this type of music and complain to them!

Don´t Let Your Children Buy, or Listen to These Negro Records

-- Flugblatt des Citizens´ Council of Greater New Orleans, 1956

My vote is the Voice article is satire, but incredibly subtle. It's funny to see people agreeing with the sentiment expressed.
posted by turaho at 1:04 PM on November 29, 2001


It's a music review wrapped in a racist-baiting troll, and it works on both fronts. I don't find it subtle in the least, for what that's worth.
posted by sudama at 1:06 PM on November 29, 2001


there's some good hip hop out there. dj shadow is a well-known hip hop dj whose own music is masterful and, oddly, mostly devoid of lyrics or spoken words of any kind. moreover, there's a local hip hop group that i like somewhat called primeridian. not at all the pop drivel such as p.diddy (the 'p' is for poseur), ad nauseum; i don't really care much for that egotistical prat. (though hip hop still isn't my thing; i'm much more into deep house.)
posted by moz at 1:09 PM on November 29, 2001


I'm aghast, Mr. Swift is proposing we eat the poor Irish children!
posted by malphigian at 1:11 PM on November 29, 2001


But still, isn't that bling bling stuff old yet?
posted by techgnollogic at 1:15 PM on November 29, 2001


The by-line suggests that this is satire-- "N. Bedford" is reminiscent of Nathan Bedford Forrest, founder of the Klan.
posted by Harry Hopkins' Hat at 1:15 PM on November 29, 2001


Whether or not it's satire, I'm behind the words themselves. I always have been.
posted by tomorama at 1:15 PM on November 29, 2001


I mean, yawn, I get it, gorilla pimpin', so what?
posted by techgnollogic at 1:16 PM on November 29, 2001


This article proves that the "cultural left" is equally as bigoted and snobbish as the "cultural right."

One article can do that? Incredible.
posted by skyline at 1:23 PM on November 29, 2001


rap sucketh raw snoopdawgs.
posted by quonsar at 1:33 PM on November 29, 2001


Of course it's a put-on; of those Americans who might proclaim such ideas about race openly, who would know the first thing about hip-hop, much less have enough familiarity with the genre to write such a review?

It seems damnably clever to me, but I'm completely unfamiliar with the music being discussed, so I don't actually know what the point being made is.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:37 PM on November 29, 2001


Isn't classic Punk also intentionally anti-social?

And then you have the violence-rich Conneticutt hardcore, which has stripped the virtue off of what underground hardcore from the late 80's was all about and just turned it into something akin to being jumped-into a gang.

But again, the underground hardcore of the late 80's was derived from the whole punk anti-social thing.

Maybe it's just 'cause gansta style is more popular and visible.. but it ain't the only game in town.

Of course, I don't think there can be any good comparison between the punk message and the message gansta style presents in the glorification of doing 'bad' stuff as compared to punk being more of an individualistic lifestyle that doesn't really cause harm to others.
posted by rich at 1:47 PM on November 29, 2001


hip hop != gangsta
posted by sudama at 1:48 PM on November 29, 2001


Of course this article is satire. Anyhow, the problem with rap isn't the fact that it's subject matter is crime, violence, crude sexuality, misogyny, pimping and male preening (which have been the topics of white country music, from the days of the Child Ballads up until only recently), the problem with rap is that it is so monstrously, mindlessly and monotonously dull. It's depressing to think how rap artists pour so much creativity and effort into such an incredibly narrow artistic space. It's like a mentally ill person who insists on living in a cardboard box on the front lawn, when he or she could be living in the mansion (a less restrictive form of musical expression) behind.
posted by Faze at 1:50 PM on November 29, 2001


moz, i totally agree with you, except that it's not really fair to call dj shadow's instrumental work hip hop. dj shadow does plenty of amazing hip hop production, but his instrumental work is in a different category (trip-hop, actually). hip hop music, by definition, involves rapping. there is, however, TONS of lyrical hip hop which incredibly artful and masterful, you just don't hear it on the radio.
posted by gnutron at 1:55 PM on November 29, 2001


hip hop ! = an expressive artform which in some cases reflects negative aspects of popular culture
posted by gnutron at 1:57 PM on November 29, 2001


Faze: there's a whole wide world of hip-hop ignored by commercial radio. Don't judge it by the Britney Spears and N'Syncs of the genre.
posted by lbergstr at 1:59 PM on November 29, 2001


gnutron: which tons of artful and masterful hip-hop are you talking about, specifically?

Most of the non-bling bling stuff i can think of is boring, abstract or pointless.

I guess I'm looking for something as approachable as the "best" bling bling gangsta stuff but with a more productive/aware/intelligent subject matter.

I'm sure some of what I've described already exists in my collection somewhere, but I can't think of any of it right now. What's that tell us?
posted by techgnollogic at 2:20 PM on November 29, 2001


tomorama: We need more MC Hammers and less Eminems. I hope you were joking, because that has to be the craziest (and funniest) thing I've ever read.

By the way, Del the Funky Homosapien still rules.
posted by elvissinatra at 2:28 PM on November 29, 2001


Hip hop doesn't have to involve rapping, and DJ Shadow has much less to do with Moloko than with... just about any "hip hop" DJ on the planet.

as approachable as the "best" bling bling gangsta stuff but with a more productive/aware/intelligent subject matter

Off the top of my head, De La Soul Stakes is High, every Digable Planets release, Fugees The Score, A Tribe Called Quest catalog minus The Love Movement, every Roots release, the Jurassic 5 EP, Outkast Aquemini. Do you want more?
posted by sudama at 2:35 PM on November 29, 2001


I haven't liked rap since Public Enemy's "Fear Of a Black Planet." A great record with angry yet honest messages. The only good white rappers: the Beastie Boys.
posted by aacheson at 2:40 PM on November 29, 2001


Rereading this, I'm convinced it's a parody, but still a bit baffled - I'm a semi-regular Voice reader and can't recall anything like this in the past - can anyone else?
posted by ryanshepard at 2:44 PM on November 29, 2001


That article is completely ridiculous. I can't believe it's been published. the genre is irrelevant, popular music has always been raunchy and risque. kids would be into that kind of behavior regardless if the music were here. the author is just making a bunch of ignorant assumptions in order to rag on a few particular records he/she doesn't like.

furthermore, I'd like to invite anyone who doesn't think hip hop is real music or art to defend their genre of choice, either here or via e-mail.
posted by mcsweetie at 2:44 PM on November 29, 2001


techgnollogic: try Outkast, the Roots, Goodie Mob, Common, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Hi-Tek, Wu-Tang Clan, Lauryn Hill, Dead Prez.
posted by cell divide at 2:51 PM on November 29, 2001


for trip hop, try slick rick. i especially liked his song "all alone (no one to be with)", which i heard on everything but the girl's compilation cd "back to mine".
posted by moz at 2:55 PM on November 29, 2001


best rappers ever were the Beastie Boys - what would the Voice say about that?

and Mix Master Mike was a waaaaaaay better DJ than Hurricane.
posted by tsarfan at 3:00 PM on November 29, 2001


See, where's my head? Jurassic freaking 5... Big ol' neon blinky-blinking DUH...

Outkast embrace the pimpgangsta but dodge the pimpgangsta bullet. Correct, but how? Because they don't dwell on it 100% of the time? Because their pimpgangsta is well done? What's going on there?

Thanks, sudama, cell divide, and of course I want more.
posted by techgnollogic at 3:00 PM on November 29, 2001


Bubba sparks still sucks though.
posted by delmoi at 3:00 PM on November 29, 2001


...Living Legends, Aceyalone, Abstract Tribe Unique, Zion I, The Coup, Atmosphere, Anticon, Moka Only, etc.
posted by modofo at 3:06 PM on November 29, 2001


techgnollogic: have you given Kool Keith a try? The Dr. Octagon stuff (with the exception of "People of Earth") can be a little trying, but "Matthew" is a gem.
posted by ryanshepard at 3:06 PM on November 29, 2001


ryanshepard: Yeah... I think Dr. Octagonecologyst was probably the third rap cd I ever bought. Trying indeed. I think he's talented, but what the fuck is he ever talking about, you know?
posted by techgnollogic at 3:21 PM on November 29, 2001


Satire, most definitely (or should I say, mos def). I read it as a take on the Christian far right.
posted by dlewis at 3:30 PM on November 29, 2001


Since it seems that we all agree that the article was a pointed satire and we are now discussing our favorite hip hop albums, I have to put in my vote for his dopeness, Prince Paul. "So, How's Your Girl" and "A Prince Among Thieves" are just wonderful, wonderful albums and his early stuff with De La Soul originally pulled me out into hip hop.

I'm also a huge fan of the Dan "The Automator" Nakamura, everything he puts his hands on turns into gold. "Bombay the Hard Way" is played on a weekly basis and "Fists of Curry" is my favorite song title ever.

But then again, I get my hip hop from Amazon's recommendation system, so my ear isn't exactly pressed to the street, as it were.
posted by rks404 at 3:31 PM on November 29, 2001


Complete put-on. It's a barely updated version of the warnings that rock'n'roll was dangerously negrofied music.

Deltron 3030 (who is, admittedly, Del tha Funky Homasapien), MC Paul Barman, everybody mentioned above, etc. etc. I'm not really into rap anymore (good albums don't last for me-- I get tired of them, other than Deltron and The Roots live album), but anyone who thinks there's nothing good (or not "boring") in hip-hop isn't looking hard enough to comment.

If this weren't a put on, why would the author ignore whole sub-genres of rap/hip-hop?

(I dunno that I'd classify Slick Rick as "trip-hop." Isn't that more of a Bristol, England 90's sort of thing?)
posted by yerfatma at 3:31 PM on November 29, 2001


I think that people are mixing gernre's here. Hip Hop DOES NOT = Gansta Rap! Hip hop is a genre to itself. Gansta Rap has little hope from recovering from the attrocities it had brought upon itself (i.e. Eminem), but Hip Hop artists like Tribe, Del, De La Soul, J5, Pharcyde are still pushing the genre forward artistically as opposed to Gansta Rap which is wallowing in its own shock value.
posted by Benway at 3:34 PM on November 29, 2001


What are you guys talking about?! Octagonecologyst is one of the greatest albums of all time!
The best MC ever! The best DJ Ever! (qbert) and the Best Producer Ever!
I've listened to it at least a hundred times (no exagerration) and never get bored w/ it.

Also, they've just rereleased Ultra: Big Time which rocks.
posted by sonofsamiam at 3:41 PM on November 29, 2001


For the non-programmers in the audience: != means "does not equal". I think that may have been causing some confusion.

And rks404, I'll second those recommendations. Prince Paul and Automator made me the model I am today. If it wasn't for Prince Paul and Automator, I would be modelling in Albania or some Balkan country. Still.
posted by moss at 3:49 PM on November 29, 2001



Our children—are in crisis, trapped in the grip of a culture that glorifies drug use and debauchery, slovenly dress, and lack of respect for authority. A culture whose worship of antisocial behavior and debasement is rivaled only by its amoral concessions to the dictates of mammon.


LOL. This could have been written during the '60's. Or, in fact, the '30's.
posted by electro at 3:58 PM on November 29, 2001


Let's not forget that hip-hop has employed satire on plenty of occasions. This and this spring to mind immediately. I'm sure there are plenty of other examples.

Another thread at the moment is discussing tunes which have an emotional impact on you. I've got to say that the sublime beats on Souls of Mischief's 93 till Infinity, and Tribe's Electric Relaxation have sent shivers through my spine on many an occasion.
posted by dlewis at 4:09 PM on November 29, 2001


For the record, I like Kool Keith.

I've been spinning shit for a few years now. It's totally beside the point whether or not some of you think music with a "beat" is an art form or not. It's in your face, you better believe it's real. If you want to figure out what "art" or "music" is, take a walk. You'll find some.

Tribe, Del, De La Soul, J5, Pharcyde are still pushing the genre forward artistically as opposed to Gansta Rap.

Tribe, Del, De La Soul, J5 and Pharcyde are so fucking white. They're good, but they're easy-listening. You might want to try something a little more edgy, even if your mom complains.

Listen to some good DJ's. Download some DJ Craze, some Mixmaster Mike, Plus-One, Q-Bert or whoever. That's hip-hop.

What are you guys talking about?! Octagonecologyst is one of the greatest albums of all time!

No shit.
posted by swift at 4:35 PM on November 29, 2001


here's are my picks for hip hop excellence...

best MC: MC Paul Barman, hands down. no one is cleverer or smarter. runners up are aceyalone and del.

best hip hop group: it's a tie! The Beastie Boys and the invisibl skratch piklz. runners up are public enemy and kmd.

best DJ: hands down, DJ Q Bert. pick up a copy of wave twisters for a slice of hip hop excellence. runners up would be Cut Chemist and Mix Master Mike (all ISP members...does anybody smell favoritism?)

best producer: hmmm. I'll say it's a tie between Prince Paul and The Dust Brothers. runners up: Dan the Automator and The Neptunes.

best album: Paul's Boutique! it doesn't get any better, b'lee dat!

so what are your picks?
posted by mcsweetie at 4:36 PM on November 29, 2001


Tribe, Del, De La Soul, J5 and Pharcyde are so fucking white. They're good, but they're easy-listening. You might want to try something a little more edgy, even if your mom complains.

Blasphemy!

Listen to some good DJ's. Download some DJ Craze, some Mixmaster Mike, Plus-One, Q-Bert or whoever. That's hip-hop.

No it's not hip-hop, there's no fucking lyrics! This is turntablism, pure and simple. I've been spinning for 10 years myself, and when I began teaching myself to scratch, Mike and Q-Bert were my heroes. They still are. But I've got to say there's a certain snobbery in the turntablism scene that just pisses me off. Every time I go to a scratch night or a DMC heat it's the same thing - a load of spotty kids in big puffa jackets huddled around the DJ booth like trainspotters. There's no atmosphere, no dancing, no smiles, not an ounce of soul and certainly no message. Q-Bert et al are great spokesmen for the art - I mean shit, they rewrote the rules - and I thoroughly respect them, but apart from that the whole scene just sucks. Unfriendly, cliquey and pretentious. Hip-hop deserves better than that.
posted by dlewis at 4:54 PM on November 29, 2001


i wanna be a debaser. *deeee-baaaa--sseeeer* DEBASER!
posted by Satapher at 5:25 PM on November 29, 2001


Anyhow, the problem with rap isn't the fact that it's subject matter is crime, violence, crude sexuality, misogyny, pimping and male preening (which have been the topics of white country music, from the days of the Child Ballads up until only recently), the problem with rap is that it is so monstrously, mindlessly and monotonously dull. It's depressing to think how rap artists pour so much creativity and effort into such an incredibly narrow artistic space. It's like a mentally ill person who insists on living in a cardboard box on the front lawn, when he or she could be living in the mansion (a less restrictive form of musical expression) behind.

The things you list as NOT being the problem with rap/hip hop/gangsta/whateva go a long way toward making most of it trite, simplistic and unappealing. But I agree that much more damning is the lack of creativity, the copycatting, the monomaniacal adherence to formula in what could be one of the freest forms. Of course, every musical genre suffers from these, but few seem to be as defined by it as this one is.
posted by rushmc at 5:37 PM on November 29, 2001


crime, violence, crude sexuality, misogyny, pimping and male preening
Sounds like the blues, from the beginning, to me--even in the lyrics of Mississippi John Hurt, you'll hear more than one reference to "going downtown with my razor in my hand,' and most people see him as saintly from the gentleness of his delivery. I must add in passing that many blues aficionados I've known would make the call on certain artists as being 'too white,' when they, the aficionados, were in fact white themselves, and the artists disparaged were not. There's an irony or two somewhere there.
posted by y2karl at 6:23 PM on November 29, 2001


swift + sonofsamiam: pulled out Octagonecologyst after posting + think I was a little too harsh - musically it's pretty much perfect + lyrically it's an interesting mixture of funny and genuinely creepy - in small doses. After a while the obsessive focus on unnecessary gynecological
surgery just starts to wear on me, though ;)
posted by ryanshepard at 6:58 PM on November 29, 2001


rick james sorta agrees :)
posted by kliuless at 7:01 PM on November 29, 2001


O: What do you remember about your appearance on The A-Team?

R[ick] J[ames]: Not much . . . I do remember George Peppard walking out on his scene with me . . . George Peppard walked out, and Mr. T says to me . . . "Don't worry about it, Rick, fuck him. He's just mad because he ain't on the cover of a cornflakes box." Mr. T was cool.


Q Magazine readers put the same question to Boy George a few months back. While Boy agreed that George and Mr. didn't get along, he seemed to feel Hannibal was the nicer wanted killer. Is it a race thing? Why doesn't anyone think Murdoch was the coolest?
posted by yerfatma at 7:11 PM on November 29, 2001


the problem with rap is that it is so monstrously, mindlessly and monotonously dull

dull? suggested listening:
common sense - I Used To Love H.E.R. (uses the growth of a girl as metaphor for hip hop)
Company Flow - Patriotism (for the liberals... and El-P is white!)
Aceyalone - Book of Human Language (this whole album is f-cking genius.)

deltron 303 has been getting mentions like a mutha. i haven't seen an album get hyped like that since.. alicia keys. and much like miss keys' work, i'm just not feeling the little i've heard of it.. maybe i'll go in for a third try.

oh yeah... lol. cibo matto - sci-fi wasabi. dopest. asian. rap. song. ever.
posted by lotsofno at 7:40 PM on November 29, 2001


Holy Shit, I never realized how white and out of it so many Metafiltians were.

Mainstream Hip Hop sucks most of the time. Just like mainstream ANYTHING sucks most of the time. Are you guys so ignorant and tunnel-visioned that you didn't assume that for yourself - even if you are not hip hop fans?

Ever heard a Public Enemy Record? Jurassic 5? Freestyle Fellowship? Audio Two? Mos Def? Tribe? De la Soul? Del? Eric B? Guru? Aceyalone? Dilated Peoples? Fugees? Shall I go on?

Some of you should probably just hush about the subject matter altogether, because you sound like my grandmother trying to analyze heavy metal.
posted by glenwood at 7:42 PM on November 29, 2001


"Tribe, Del, De La Soul, J5 and Pharcyde are so fucking white. They're good, but they're easy-listening. You might want to try something a little more edgy, even if your mom complains.

Listen to some good DJ's. Download some DJ Craze, some Mixmaster Mike, Plus-One, Q-Bert or whoever. That's hip-hop. "

Oh jeesus swift you've got to be kidding me. The bands listed above aren't "white" just because white people like them. The idea that rap music has to be NWA is perpetuating the ridiculous ideas mainstream america has about hip hop.

And DJing isn't "Hip Hop" any more than De La is. Don't be retarded.
posted by glenwood at 7:46 PM on November 29, 2001


Holy Shit, I never realized how white and out of it so many Metafiltians were.

Without a doubt the most racist and offensive comment I've seen on MeFi.

Some of you should probably just hush about the subject matter altogether, because you sound like my grandmother trying to analyze heavy metal.

Nice riff: it's hard to be both pretentious AND defensive at the same time! Like whatever music you like, but if you can't take a little criticism of your preferred tunes, that speaks volumes about your own confidence in its quality.
posted by rushmc at 8:01 PM on November 29, 2001


best mc's ever: Biggie, Tupac, Big Boi, Slick Rick, Chuck D, eminem, snoop dogg, method man.

I don't care if it's mainstream, I don't care if they lyrics aren't as 'deep' as some others, but these are the men who make the magic with the mouth.
posted by chaz at 8:23 PM on November 29, 2001


The article appears to be a parody of anything written by Stanley Crouch (note the name similarity), a black, superannuated perpetual critic of hiphop.

It is, however, remarkably subtle, and almost makes sense. I wonder if most or even any of the acts mentioned in the story are real.
posted by joeclark at 8:29 PM on November 29, 2001


moss: those modelling lessons were definitely the best $60 that you ever spent. :)
posted by rks404 at 8:38 PM on November 29, 2001


I don't care if it's mainstream, I don't care if they lyrics aren't as 'deep' as some others, but these are the men who make the magic with the mouth.

yeah, despite my earlier pandering towards the more abstract/avant-garde emcees (relatively so), i'd probably take tupac over any of the other people mentioned above.
posted by lotsofno at 8:53 PM on November 29, 2001


who is hip hop's garth brooks/brad paisley?
posted by techgnollogic at 10:26 PM on November 29, 2001


who is hip hop's garth brooks/brad paisley?

the fugees, say i.
however, stadium hip-hop is not something i have experienced, save the 'up in smoke video tour' video.

nice link ryanshepard, almost had me going there.
posted by asok at 3:10 AM on November 30, 2001


I never realized how white and out of it so many Metafiltians were.

Without a doubt the most racist and offensive comment I've seen on MeFi.

Woah -- people of all pigments often make stupid and ignorant assumptions about music they don't listen to. This isn't "white" behavior.

On the other hand, rushmc: no offense, but that's a patently absurd statement. There's far, far worse in this thread alone; the "Tribe, Del, De La Soul, J5 and Pharcyde are so fucking white" comment stands out in my mind.
posted by sudama at 4:43 AM on November 30, 2001


I like the old Fresh Prince. "Parents Just Don't Understand" Fresh Prince. That is all.
posted by owillis at 5:30 AM on November 30, 2001


What's wrong with being white?
posted by Summer at 5:33 AM on November 30, 2001


Well you see, Summer, black guys, they drive a car like this:

*leans back, as though his elbow were on the windowsill*
"Do, do, ch. Do-be-do, do-be-do-be-do."


Yeah, but white guys, see, they drive a car like this:

*hunches forward, talks nasally*
"Dee-da-dee, a-dee-da-dee-da-dee-da-dee..."


In short, we're lame.
posted by dlewis at 6:04 AM on November 30, 2001


techgnollogic....the main problem with intelligent hip hop is that is generally less accessible than the mainstream variety, concept-wise and aurally. without having too much overlap on names that have been dropped before, check out the likes of Latyrx, Blackalicious, De La, Black Star, The Coup, Dilated Peoples, Eyedea. Also, check out the Roots next time the rock a venue near you.
posted by gnutron at 6:31 AM on November 30, 2001


Apparently the problem is that I've already heard all the intelligent hip-hop on earth... except maybe some super-rare underground talib kweli mix-tape or something.

Are there any post-9/11 patriotic rap cuts? My roommate said something about another Raise Up remix. Um, no.
posted by techgnollogic at 6:50 AM on November 30, 2001


techgno, there is NO way you have heard all the intelligent hip hop on earth. there is more hip hop in the underground than anyone could possibly listen to. http://www.sandboxautomatic.com is a great distributor of hard-to-find hip hop.
posted by gnutron at 7:22 AM on November 30, 2001


I was avoiding posting to this thread, as it's filled with the type of glib ignorance of hip hop that tends to be the norm.

However, I would just like to point out that "intelligent hip hop", as gnutron calls it, isn't the be all and end all of hip hop. It's good music, and I like a lot of the groups mentioned, but at the same time it's only a small portion of the hip hop spectrum. The irony is that a lot of the people who stick to "intelligent hip hop" are listening to artists who don't make such a distinction, who reference everyone from Jay-Z to Li'l Wayne to Rakim. "Intelligent" music isn't the only music worth listening to, ya know.

However, I will say the new Dilated Peoples is hot, the new Swollen Members is hot, and the Neptunes side of Neptunes vs. Timbaland will make you bounce, if you're not busy listening to Garth Brooks or Autechre.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 7:32 AM on November 30, 2001


dlewis, don't forget that white guys have names like "Lenny," whereas black guys have names like "Carl."
(No more talk about hot Swollen Members. Please.)
posted by yerfatma at 8:01 AM on November 30, 2001


What glib ignorance, Tycoon?

The intelligent hip hop thing spawned off from me looking for non-stupid hip hop... but I'm very aware that intelligent and non-stupid are not the same thing, and much of the intelligent-underground-street-cred-college-radio stuff is so self-consciously aware and uplifting and good-vibey and anti-pop and anti-bling as to be obnoxious to listen to.

Obviously I was completely braindead when I originally made the comment about all the non-bling stuff I could think of being boring and pointless.
posted by techgnollogic at 9:24 AM on November 30, 2001


dlewis: other white people may be like that, but I'm really cool.

yerfatma: what about Lenny Henry, mmmmm? And Carl Sagan, mmmm?
posted by Summer at 9:48 AM on November 30, 2001


Sorry, Summer-- it was all a terribly unfunny Simpsons reference thang. Until you ruined it.
posted by yerfatma at 10:06 AM on November 30, 2001


Sorry, Summer-- it was all a terribly unfunny Simpsons reference thang. Until you ruined it.
posted by yerfatma at 10:06 AM on November 30, 2001


techgnollogic:

By glib ignorance, I was mostly referring to some of the prior comments which at their essence just said "rap sucks!" and didn't really explain why, or show where how they formed that opinion. Most people who put it down in that fashion have minimal exposure to it, but they're also the most vocal.

Regarding "best of the bling" hip hop, that's a tough thing to find, you're right. Outkast is definitely one of the best at straddling the line, as people mentioned earlier, but I think there's still some good stuff that gets passed up by "college heads", stuff like Canibus, the Outsidaz (which Eminem was once a member of, actually), Erick Sermon and solo Redman. The new Ghostface Killah album is also something definitely worth checking out, in terms of innovative, interesting hip hop that isn't strictly "bling-bling" money rap and which doesn't fall into the category of "intelligent hip hop" either.

Actually, one group that deserves HUGE success, which sounds amazing and isn't lame old white-boy college hip hop is Slum Village, whose last album Fantastic Volume II didn't get any play at all, but which fits the bill perfectly. You should check them out. Their DJ/producer (who raps as well), Jay Dee, is well known in the industry and has done great work on Common's last release (one of the few "intelligent hip hop" albums that really hits with me) and on numerous other tracks.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 10:46 AM on November 30, 2001


The BBC is taking this article at face value apparently.
posted by ryanshepard at 10:47 AM on November 30, 2001


Sorry, Summer-- it was all a terribly unfunny Simpsons reference thang. Until you ruined it.

Oh. I don't really watch the Simpsons.
posted by Summer at 3:35 PM on November 30, 2001


Speaking of Lenny...
posted by techgnollogic at 8:18 PM on November 30, 2001


The things you list as NOT being the problem with rap/hip hop/gangsta/whateva go a long way toward making most of it trite, simplistic and unappealing.

rushmc, perhaps I was being a bit simplistic when I called comments like this "white". Or at least, I was opening myself up to being called 'racist' by the likes of you.

Typically what one means, when using the term in the context above, is that when one makes blanket statments about hip hop implying that it's full of gangsters and simplistic,unappealing music, one sounds like an uninformed member of the predominantly white mainstream press - Which has downplayed hip hop's relevance to our culture and musical landscape, and EXAGGERATED the idea that it is full of criminals and hateful messages since day one.

If you think I'm defensive because I'm worried it's not good enough music then you are sorely mistaken. There's no doubt that hip hop has become a political/racial issue that goes beyond the music itself, and that's why I'm defensive.
posted by glenwood at 10:22 AM on December 3, 2001


Quiet, I'm trying to listen to Tom Waits.
posted by Hildago at 11:22 PM on December 11, 2001


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